The deadline to submit books for consideration for the 2014 Oregon Book Awards is Friday, August 30, 2013. Books with an original publication date between August 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013 are eligible. The deadline for submission to the 2014 Pacific Northwest College of Art Graphic Literature Award is also August 30, 2013. Graphic literature with an original publication date between August 1, 2011 and July 31, 2013 is eligible. Please note there are separate guidelines for the Graphic Literature award.
Mary Jo Bang was the judge in poetry for the 2013 Oregon Book Awards. Her six books of poetry include Elegy, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is also the author of Apology for Want, Louise in Love and The Bride of E. She was the poetry co-editor of the Boston Review from 1995 to 2005. She is a Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Here are her comments on the 2013 Oregon Book Awards finalists for the Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry.
Gertrude: poems and other objects by Toni Hanner
Fjords vol 1 by Zachary Schomburg
These poems have an odd associative logic that seems absolutely earned. Seitzinger understands that because the world is strange, eccentricity must be employed when talking about it. Otherwise, the poet risks being reductive, or falls into the trap of producing poetically pretty description that comes nowhere near capturing what it’s truly like to be alive in American at the cusp of the 21st century. The poems brilliantly represent the ongoing struggle to make sense of the intents and behaviors of the inscrutable others who surround us, while trying to simultaneously understand the even less fathomable self.
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